Maddox & Gerock


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Broken Engagement? Return the Ring

A recent case out of the Loudoun County Circuit Court examined whether a women must return the engagement ring given to her by her now ex-fiancé after she broke off their engagement. The Court looked at § 8.01-220 of the Virginia Code (the Heart Balm Act) which prevents lawsuits for breach of the promise to marry. Although some courts view this Act as prohibiting the return of property given on the condition of marriage, the Loudoun Circuit Court disagreed. The court found engagement rings are conditional gifts and the condition is satisfied if and only if the parties marry. In this case, since that condition was never met, the woman was ordered to return the wedding ring. Peter v. Langley (Horne) No. 89241, Nov. 6, 2014; Loudoun County Cir. Ct. VLW 01-8-103, 4 pp.

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